Software Engineer

Geospatial Insights Team


Azavea is a civic technology firm based in Philadelphia that uses geospatial data to build software and data analytics for the web.  As a B Corporation, our mission is to use advanced geospatial technology for civic, social, and environmental impact. Most of our customers are local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic or federal research projects.  We build custom web applications; perform geospatial analysis; manage and contribute to several open source civic software projects (DistrictBuilderOpenTreeMapGeoTrellis, and others).  Our engineers work across the technology stack, from modern browser-based front-ends to robust service-based backends residing on scalable infrastructure.

We’re looking for a software engineer that is passionate about building applications that will have a positive impact – someone interested in public service, but not necessarily in working for a government or a non-profit organization.  We are looking for generalists who thrive on working in a variety of technology environments, and want to build user-focused applications that sit on top of well-engineered infrastructure.

We’re excited about what we do, we’re growing, and we hope you will join us.


Skills & Requirements

The Geospatial Insights Team

Azavea has a handful of engineering teams, all of which develop web software for processing and visualizing geospatial data.  The teams differ in terms of the specific projects they develop and whether they are primarily focused on products or professional services.  The Geospatial Insights team currently focuses on developing two web products: HunchLab and DistrictBuilder. HunchLab is a SaaS offering for law enforcement agencies that applies statistics and machine learning to create a proactive patrol management system used to improve public safety in communities across the country. DistrictBuilder is an open source web application for engaging the public with the legislative redistricting process. The Geospatial Insights team does most of its work with JavaScript (AngularJS), Python (Django), Scala, and PostgreSQL. All supporting infrastructure for applications resides on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is delivered with a combination of Ansible, Docker, Terraform, and a wide variety of AWS services.

What You’ll Do:

  • Build features, APIs and web clients based on wireframes and designs developed by our UX Design team.
  • Engage in multidisciplinary work that applies an agile process (scrum board, daily stand-ups and two-week iterations) to design, architect, develop, test and deploy software.
  • Optimize database, service and client performance to create applications with both functional and responsive user experiences.
  • Build and deploy services in a repeatable way to AWS.
  • Contribute to both a growing company and to the open source communities that support our work.

You should:

  • Know how to build and support scalable web applications in Python/Django, Scala/Akka HTTP, or other language-specific web framework.
  • Demonstrate fluency in core web technologies (HTML/CSS/JS) and contemporary JavaScript libraries like AngularJS and React.
  • Understand how AWS, Docker, and Terraform help our infrastructure.
  • Be comfortable with virtualization or containerization in a UNIX environment.
  • Be excited about working with a small, collaborative team on meaningful projects.

You get extra points for:

  • Background in math and statistics.
  • Experience with open source or commercial geospatial toolkits like OpenLayers, Leaflet, GeoServer, PostGIS, CARTO, ArcGIS, and GoogleMaps.
  • Experience with mobile apps (iOS, Android or React Native).
  • Experience scaling applications within AWS.
  • Knowledge of distributed computing frameworks, like Hadoop, Spark, and Amazon MR.
  • Demonstrating your open source or other community service contributions.

You’ll notice that we don’t say “X-Y years of experience” or “M.S. in Computer Science.”  Formal credentials like these are not irrelevant, but we are primarily looking for people who have had experience successfully building sophisticated web applications.  You might have had these kinds of experiences without a college degree.  Or you may be just out of school but worked your way through school and had some great co-op experiences.  Or you might have a math or humanities background but a have a great head for software development.  These are all potentially great backgrounds, and we’d be interested in hearing from you.


Office and Benefits

Our Philadelphia office is located in a brightly lit office on the 5th floor of a converted factory building in the Callowhill neighborhood, a short walk from Center City, the Reading Terminal Market, and SEPTA subway and regional rail stations.  For bicyclists, we have in-house bike parking, a shower and lockers.  It’s an open office plan with several smaller rooms for team meetings, private space and concentration time.  You get a top-end Linux workstation or Apple laptop with extra monitors.  We have flex-time to deal with personal stuff, and most people work a 40 – 45 hour week on a regular schedule.  After the first six months, our staff can also spend up to 10% of their time on a geospatial open source, professional development, or R&D project.  For example, some of our colleagues are contributors to the PostGISOpenLayersGDAL and GeoTrellis projects.  Other research projects have included improving application delivery tool chains; using FFT for fast kernel density estimation; working with Spark to develop machine learning tools; and using GPUs for faster raster data processing.  Once a quarter, we all get together to share our research and learning with our colleagues.

We offer a salary commensurate with skills and experience and a benefits package that includes:

  • Fully subsidized health care, dental, prescription plan, including for spouse/partner and children
  • Fully subsidized life and long term disability insurance, plus voluntary short term disability insurance
  • Medical reimbursement plan to cover what the health insurance does not
  • Retirement plan with matching percentage
  • Almost 4 weeks paid vacation plus additional paid sick/personal time off
  • Family and medical leave
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Paid maternity and paternity leave
  • Child care subsidy
  • Paid time off for voting and volunteering
  • Education assistance plan
  • Student loan assistance
  • Public transit and biking reimbursement plans
  • Monthly guest lectures with lunches on the house
  • 10% time for research or learning projects
  • Profit-sharing bonus plan
  • Financial transparency through an open book policy
  • Kind, capable and thoughtful colleagues


We welcome qualified candidates from all walks of life and value diversity in our company, and we prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, military service, disability unrelated to job requirements, marital status, or domestic partner status.

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